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Work life balance

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Overview of work life balance

Have you ever watched the rope-balancing act on the street or in circus or on the television? It looks so difficult and leaves you wondering how they manage to do it. But one rarely realizes that he/she is doing the same in the fast paced life in metros, which needs one to balance between work and personal life. ‘Work Life Balance’ has become a catchword. Ask anyone working in the IT sector and one can know what is life behind those posh buildings where cabs keep moving in and out endlessly. The corporate lifestyle comes with its own advantages and pitfalls. Prolonged working hours, catching up with deadlines and the duties towards the home or the call of one’s personal life makes one to jump from one role to the other frequently.

The Trend

Work Life Balance is becoming all the more relevant even in a traditional country like India after the software boom. The time where offices had fixed working hours with rest after the office hours is becoming a myth. However, they are covered up with the lucrative packages being offered, which makes one to feel his/her dreams have come true. The younger generation of middle class families earns a monthly salary, which at times even surpasses what their parents or peers would have earned in a year. Life feels good for the youngsters who now have the power to buy whatever they want unlike the older generation, where one had to think twice before even thinking of buying anything expensive. So far so good, but the younger generation is loosing out on so many things, which they themselves cannot comprehend in the earlier stages but when they become aware of the malaise, it’s already too late. Some of the younger individuals tend to compare their life with other people in the office, who lead a luxurious life and try to reach those levels by spending extravagantly to attain those levels.

Today, everyone irrespective of their interests or abilities wants to get into an IT job. Whether the job suits them or not is secondary. The vision of working in a high rise building, earning a five or six figure salary, on-site opportunities and other similar factors are luring the younger generation towards such jobs. Rarely does one realize that he/she is falling into a vicious circle of work and stress.

New, trendy gadgets, laptops, blackberry, PDAs (personal digital assistant) and so on which boast of staying connected anytime, anywhere is resulting in people working even after their work hours. Very few people dare to switch off their mobile phones once they are at home or on a vacation. The need to check their ‘precious’ inbox is very tempting even on a family vacation. Working for long hours is becoming fashionable. Spouse is not having time for family is a style statement.

The Gun Backfires

The fact that one is working in a multinational company, which is renowned worldwide, makes one proud. The huge pay packages received at the beginning of every month makes one even more pleased. But one fails to understand at what cost he/she is achieving it. Many people don’t bother to think about it. However, as time progresses one tends to realize what he/she has fallen into. The fast paced office life would have left the personal and social life a lot more behind making one wonder whether he has gained something or lost many things.

People are complaining of not having a balanced work and domestic life like never before. The work load is taking its toll not only on the worker but also his/her family. One tends to spend more time at office, team outings, conferences or on-site projects than at home. Even at home they are busy attending calls or finishing some backlogs. This increases the gap between the individual and his family, be it the parents, spouse or the children. Communication in the family is decreasing day by day. This is resulting in strangled relationships. Divorce rates are increasing. Live-in relations are increasing, which was unknown in India few years back. People tend to forget that one has certain basic duties towards his family or partner, which needs to be taken care of. The caring attitude of an individual is washed away with one expecting the other to understand their responsibilities at office and cope up with the deficits of personal life.   

Shortage of time, low energy levels, losing temper very often, too many things to be done all the time, dissatisfaction in work and personal life are a few symptoms indicating a strain in work balance relation.

Balancing Aids

One need to realize that he/she works to make a livelihood, to make him or herself independent, have time for extra curricular activities and have job satisfaction which is very important. The nature of work is such that it is difficult not to stretch for long hours. But life should not go out of control at any cost. Managing work life balance is very crucial to have a satisfied life.

The employee and the employer are two sides of a see-saw when it comes to the act of balancing life and work. A working individual should realize his/her responsibilities towards his/her family and try to manage work within the office hours, while the employer should be aware of these responsibilities and the stress associated with work and try to provide an environment, which is conducive. Many firms are offering the option of flexi-timings for their employees. This has boosted the morale of the workers as the firms are sensitive to the needs of its staff. This family-friendly policy has brought great rewards for the companies, as it has improved the retention in the company and increased productivity while absenteeism and late coming of employees has reduced.

Providing lactation rooms for mothers, crèches, maternity leave and paternity leave, working from home option all these have proved beneficial to both the employer and the employee. The working individual should utilize these features to work more efficiently so that he/she need not carry work and its associated tensions home.

The following are a few tips, which can help you in attaining work balance relation:

  • Make life easier, simplify it. Learn the art of saying ‘no’ when you really cannot do something beyond your capacity.
  • Manage time judiciously. Prioritize your work.
  • Learn to work in compartmentalized fashion. When working, concentrate on work and when spending time with family and friends give complete attention to them.
  • Give some time for yourself. Meditate, practice yoga, exercise regularly and develop healthy eating habits.

So just sit back in between and try to imagine yourself in the place of the guy who is doing the balancing act. The pole you will be carrying to balance yourself on the tight rope called life has work and personal life at each end. If you keep the pole balanced you stay put on the tight rope and cross over to the other end without any difficulty. Any disturbances can lead to a fall, which leads to injuries from which you may not recover at all sometimes. So take a break, analyze yourself and take steps towards balancing your life with work and stay happy.

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Written by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: January 18, 2015